Wines of the Basque Country and Rioja Alavesa

Tour date: October 29 – November 2, 2022
5 days and 4 nights
Small group trip (4 people)

From: 3,880.00

Discover the wines of the Basque Country and Rioja Alavesa

 

Let yourself be impressed on this journey, where you will discover a very strong wine tradition with a delicious gastronomy. First, the Basque Country, by the seaside of the Cantabric Sea, that offers amazing coastal and mountainous landscapes, even though the vineyards are mostly located by the coastal parts. The most well-known wine is called Txakolí, a wine with a good acidity and very easy to drink, it is produced from the native grape varieties Ondarribi Zuri (white variety), this is the 95% from the vineyard and the Ondarribi Beltza (red variety) this is the less extended.

 

Then, Rioja Alavesa located bounded by the Sierra de Cantabria and the Sierra de Toloño, on the right bank of the Ebro River, one of the most important rivers in Spain. It is the region of Álava, in the Basque Country. Rioja Alavesa is an area full of beautiful towns which obtain a lot of history, surrounded by vineyards.  The native grape is the Tempranillo, with this type of grape, excellent wines are produced. Also, it is needed to highlight that the Qualified Designation of Origin Rioja (DOCa Rioja) is divided in three subareas: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental.

Preliminary Itinerary

 

Day 1: Saturday, 29th October: Bilbao – transfer to San Sebastián

 

Arrival on your own to Bilbao. Note: Flight tickets or transfer from the city of origin, not included.

 

Meet & greet in the afternoon, and private transfer from Bilbao airport to San Sebastian in luxury minivan (Mercedes) with driver. Journey time: 1h 5 min approx.

 

On arrival, you will check-in for 2 nights in a modern 4* hotel centrally located in the beautiful city of San Sebastian. Its particularity is that each of its rooms is dedicated to an illustrious person related to cinema, since the International Film Festival is held in the city. Each one of them is adapted to obtain a comfortable stay.

 

For dinner you will enjoy a great meal in a real Basque Gastronomic Society or Txoko, to get into the typical culinary traditions of the region. A perfect place to meet with friends and share moments. If you wish, you can join the cook and help prepare the meal to learn the secrets of the Basque cuisine. Traditional Basque menu. Drinks included: Rioja red wine, white wine, cider, beer, soft drinks and water.

 

Duration of the activity and dinner: 4 hours approx.

 

Transfers included.

 

Accommodation.

 

 

Day 2: Sunday, 30th October: – Hondarribia

 

Breakfast at the hotel.

 

In the morning, private guided walking tour with a licensed local guide to visit the most emblematic points of the city of San Sebastian, a city dominated by the Bay of La Concha, as well as its architectural development, its buildings stand out for having a French and gentrified style. Duration of the visit: 1.5-2 hours approx. Ticket entrance to monuments not included.

 

After the guided tour, departure by minivan to Hondarribia.

 

Before arriving, we will make a stop at a beautiful Txacoli winery.

 

Guided visit of the vineyard and the winery, where you will also get more information about the history of the Txakoli of Hondarribia, since it is one of the typical types of wines in that area. Finally, tasting of 3 Txakoli wines accompanied by 6 pintxos. Duration of the visit: 1h15min approx.

 

After the visit to the winery, lunch in the new tavern of this winery. Menu of two hot portions to share for the group and a dessert per person. A glass of txakoli and coffee included.

 

Transfer to the beautiful town of Hondarribia, one of the most beautiful villages of the Basque Country, for a visit at leisure..

 

Return to the hotel in the late afternoon.

 

Dinner on your own.

 

Accommodation.

 

 

Day 3: Monday, 31st October: Haro – Rioja Alavesa

 

Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out.

 

Departure to the Rioja Alavesa in the morning. On the way, we will stop in the town of Haro, known as the “wine capital of Rioja”, to visit the first winery of the program from the Qualified Designation of Origin Rioja.

Journey time: 1h 40min approx.

 

We will visit a historical winery that produces world-renowned wines, and produces its own barrels with the best oak. Guided visit with tasting of 3 wines. Duration of the visit: 1 hour approx.

 

Afterwards, short free walk around Haro, specifically in the Barrio de la Estación, which is a must visit, as it is a very significant place for this population, for wine professionals as well as for wine lovers because of its history and numerous wineries. In this district known as the Barrio de la Estación, the railroad was built to go from one point to another, specifically, the French people who came to La Rioja to buy grapes when the phylloxera plague started. Export centers were set up around the provisional railroad station.

 

Transfer to Samaniego, in the province of Alava, already within the Rioja Alavesa, for our next stop, a beautiful winery of modern architecture with excellent views of the Sierra de Cantabria and the village of Samaniego, which is responsible for selecting the grapes, one by one, to obtain the highest quality of all of them and produce excellent wines based on sustainable farming, in harmony with nature.

 

After the visit to this second winery, you will enjoy a tasting menu for lunch, consisting of 6 courses accompanied by 4 classic wines, in the restaurant of the same winery.

 

After the lunch, transfer to the town of San Vicente de la Sonsierra to enjoy the beautiful views from the top, and to the beautiful medieval town of Laguardia for a guided visit of the Church of Santa María de los Reyes, which preserves a beautiful polychrome stone portico that belongs to the late 14th century although its polychrome belongs to the 17th century.

 

Then, enjoy some time at leisure in this charming town, Laguardia, a medieval town surrounded by a wall that King Sancho el Fuerte of Navarre ordered to build. It is considered one of the most beautiful villages in Spain.

 

In the afternoon-evening, you will check-in for 2 nights in a 4* hotel surrounded by vineyards, located at the foot of Laguardia in the heart of the Rioja Alavesa. Its rooms and services have the best facilities to offer a stay full of comfort.

 

Dinner on your own.

 

Accommodation.

 

 

Day 4: Tuesday, 1st November: Elciego – Logroño

 

Breakfast at the hotel.

 

Departure in the morning from the hotel to the town of Elciego.

 

Guided visit to a beautiful winery located on the outskirts of the town of Elciego, wine producer of excellent quality. Its wines come from 110 hectares of vineyards with vines that in some cases are over 60 years old.

 

The visit begins in the vineyards that surround the winery, with views of the Sierra Cantabria and the panoramic view of a manor house that emerges as a small treasure in the heart of Rioja Alavesa.

 

This visit offers the possibility of entering into the winemaking process by visiting places inside the winery to learn about stories and details that have marked the culture of an entire region and are part of the work philosophy of the winemaking group, which also combines two great passions: wine and art.

 

Tasting of three wines included. Duration of the visit: 1h 30 min approx.

 

After the visit, a short stop will be made to see the picturesque town of Elciego and the so-called City of Wine, where the wineries and the Marqués de Riscal hotel are located, designed by the famous architect Frank O. Gehry. Among the rural style houses, immersed in the mountainous landscape, the modern building of vanguard design stands out.

 

Then, transfer to Logroño, the capital of La Rioja, which has many attractions such as the Co-cathedral of Santa María La Redonda, the Parliament which was an old Convent or the imperial Church of Santa María de Palacio.

 

Laurel Street must be highlighted as well, which is one of the streets in the old town and is well known for being a typical place for pintxos in the city, and where the nightlife is also very vibrant.

 

OPTIONAL (not included): Guided walking tour with a licensed local guide to see the highlights of the city of Logroño. Duration of the visit: 1h30min approx.

 

Lunch on your own.

 

Transfer in the afternoon to visit another winery where you will have a tour visiting the underground galleries where the most exclusive wines are aged. The visit ends at the “Cueva del Monge” where the facsimile of the Albeldense Codex, a jewel of medieval miniature, is exhibited. There will be a tasting of two wines with an aperitif. Duration of the visit: 90 min approx.

 

Afterwards, return to the hotel in Laguardia.

 

Dinner on your own.

 

Accommodation.

 

 

Day 5: Wednesday, 2nd November : Rioja Alavesa – Bilbao

 

Breakfast at the hotel. Check-out.

 

Departure in the morning from the hotel to Bilbao. Journey time: 1h 20 min approx.

 

Upon arrival in the city of Bilbao, the group will have a private guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum around the museum’s permanent exhibition. The building was also designed by Frank Gehry. Admission fee included.

 

Time at leisure in the afternoon to discover the city of Bilbao, a city with a strong industrial past and reconverted into a modern and cosmopolitan city.

 

In the afternoon, transfer to Bilbao airport to take your return flight (flight tichets not included).

 

End of trip and services.

Price

Price per person, double occupancy: 1940,00 EUROS

 

The Price includes:

 

  • 4 nights in total in 4* hotels, on bed and breakfast basis included.
  • Privat transport in minivan Mercedes, following the itinerary suggested by our agency. Associated expenses included (driver’s allowance, tolls, parking, gasoline). Availability: up to 10 daytime hours max.
  • Pick-up and Drop-off: Bilbao Airport.

Note: extra hours, if any, will be billed separately.

  • English-speaking wine expert guide accompanying throughout the program.
  • 2 midday meals, menus as indicated above in the preliminary itinerary.
  • Dinner at Basque Gastronomic Society (Txoko), menu as indicated above in the preliminary itinerary.
  • Visits to 5 wineries. Wine tastings as specified.
  • Private guided tour (on foot) in English with a certified guide of San Sebastian. Ticket entrance to monuments not included. Duration: 1,5 hrs approx.
  • Guided tour of the church Sta. María de los Reyes in Laguardia (polychrome portico). 50min approx..
  • Private guided tour of the Guggenheim Museum. Entrance fee included.
  • Basic travel assistance insurance (please consult us for particular conditions and coverage before booking).
  • Technical coordination and booking management of all services included here by our agency.
  • Taxes in force (any variation regarding this by the competent authorities will be charged in the final invoice).

 

Not included:

 

  • Flights or train tickets
  • Transfers from origin
  • Taxes or municipal tourist taxes to be paid directly by the guest at each hotel (where applicable)
  • Ticket entrance to monuments (except as clearly indicated)
  • Cancellation insurance (recommended). Please contact us in case you need it. In case of contracting cancellation insurance, you must indicate it at the time of booking.
  • Lunches and dinners not specified in the program, neither the drinks that are not specified.
  • Extras / personal expenses (ex. minibar, laundry, etc.)
  • Any other service not specified clearly in the section “The Price includes:”, the agency may request a credit card only as a guarantee.

Booking and Cancellations

  • Make a safe online payment of your pre-reservation (deposit) of 565 Euros per person by credit card or PayPal. You will receive an instant email confirming the payment. If you prefer to pay by bank transfer, please contact us at the email: sales@viavinumwinetours.com
  • You will receive another email from our agency within 48 hours (working days) confirming availability, and with instructions and other indications. In this case, the rest of the payment must be made within 20 days prior to the tour start date.
  • In case of requiring a minimum number of people and the minimum group is not reached, you will be offered an alternative, or if you prefer, our agency will proceed to refund the full amount paid, either the pre-booking or the total amount of the program, depending on each case.
  • For reservations made on the last minute (with a date less than 10 days before departure), 100% of the amount must be paid.

 

  • Modifications or Cancellations:

 

– 100% refundable for reservations cancelled more than 30 days prior to the day of departure, except 100 euros as expenses.

– Cancellations between 30 and 21 days before the start of the trip, will be charged 50% of the total invoice.

– If the client cancels within 20 days of the start of the tour, no refund will be made. It will be 100% charged.

– No-shows and/or program interruptions will not be refunded.

– Cancellations must be made by email to the agency and have a confirmation of receipt of the cancellation by our agency.

To be considered

  • This is a reduced shared group tour for a minimum of 4 people, and a maximum of 4 people. If you have a bigger group, please contact us. We’ll be delighted to organize a private tour for you.
  • For people with reduced mobility, please notify us at the time of booking so that we can offer you the most suitable and best conditioned activities available.
  • Visits to wineries are not normally private (unless clearly indicated). If you would like them to be exclusive, please let us know at the time of booking. We will inform you of the supplement to be paid in case of availability.
  • The lunch or dinner menus that are included will be served at full table, to all guests equally. If there are any travelers with food allergies or intolerances, please let us know well in advance so that we can coordinate accordingly.
  • For upgrades or tour extensions, please contact us.
  • We recommend booking at least 20 days in advance.
  • The final itinerary or program may be subject to last minute changes or alterations beyond our agency’s control. However, in that case, we would provide you with an alternative while maintaining at least the same level of quality, without altering the price. No penalty will be assumed by our agency to the client for such a change.
  • It will be the responsibility of the traveler to consult the documentation required to enter the country, as well as the necessary corresponding to the latest entry restrictions concerning Covid-19.